December 13, 2017

3 Tips For Making Your Dog’s Vacation Stress Free

Do you like traveling with your dog?  Learn the 3 best dog traveling tips to prepare you for the best dog vacation ever!

Provided by:  Wendy Lipscomb  – Author of Totally Goldens Website & Blog — TOTALLY GOLDENS

dogs bark

chandler dog training

3 Tips For Making Your Dog’s Vacation Stress Free

 

A growing number of people are choosing to take their dogs with them when they take a trip rather than leaving them behind – after all, your four legged friend is just as much a part of the family as the kids, so why would you leave him behind. However, any form of traveling can be very stressful for your dog, especially on the first occasion. With that in mind, let’s take a look at some helpful hints and tips for making traveling with dogs as stress free as possible for everybody involved.

Introduce Confinement Dog Training Prior to The Trip

If your furry friend is not used to traveling, then being confined in an unfamiliar place like the back of your car or on an airplane could cause them a great deal of stress – think about a time when you were thrown into an unfamiliar situation without warning, it wasn’t too pleasant for you was it? It is important that you do whatever you can to make sure that your canine companion feels relaxed and safe in this situation. One of the ways that you can do this is to introduce crate training or confinement training as soon as possible before your trip. This will help your pet to feel more settled when restrained or confined during travel. Confinement training is another term for crate training. The goal is to make your dog feel safe and secure in their crate so that they are not as frightened when they have to go inside one in order to travel with you. If your dog is already crate trained, then you can start making short car journeys with your dog confined so that he or she gets used to it.

Preparing Your Dog For Air Travel

Depending on where you you are headed on your vacation, you might need to travel by air. The travel requirements for taking any animal onto an aircraft will vary from one airline to the next and of course, if you are traveling internationally there are likely to be quarantine restrictions. In the majority of cases, your pet will be required to travel in the cargo hold. Some airlines will allow a small dog in a dog carrier in the cabin and service dogs are carried with their travel companion.

It is best to assume that your dog will need to travel in the hold, in which case you must prepare your dog for this experience. You should get a crate the same size as the approved airline carrier that your pet will be placed in and commence with crate training. While he is in the crate you should attempt to desensitize him to the noises of an aircraft. You can play a recording of these sounds and gradually increase the volume and the duration of the noise.

Medicating or Sedating Your Dog

Some dog parents may consider simply sedating or otherwise medicating their dog in order to make traveling easier. This should only ever be done under supervision of your vet as it is necessary to assess fido’s general health status and determine the most appropriate dose based on various different factors. Really, medicating your pet should only ever be a last resort used only if training is not settling them down and you have concerns about their safety during transit if they are not able to relax during the journey.

The key to stress free travel for you and your fur-baby is preparation and training. Spend some time working with your pet on confinement/crate training and noise sensitivity. It could be time consuming, but it will certainly be worth it to make sure that your little buddy feels settled during travel. Once your pet is comfortable with traveling, you may never need to leave him behind again and you can both start planning some wonderful new adventures together.

 

Hiking With Your Dog

Do you like hiking with your dog?  Learn the 6 best dog hiking tips to prepare you for the best dog hiking adventure ever!

Provided by:  Dan Deublein  – Author of The Proper Function Adventure Inward Blog — http://www.theproperfunction.com/  BLOG

Dogs have zesty attitudes with an unrivaled sense of adventure. They’re wonderful hiking and backpacking companions, but dogs are also a tad bit oblivious to consequences which means you need to be prepared. To ensure that you have the best adventure possible, Wyatt has put together some paw tips for your next hike.

wyatt3

paw

PAW TIP #1 : DOG TRAINING

Hiking and backpacking with your dog creates quite the responsibility for the dog owner. You are responsible for the well-being of your pooch when you encounter dangerous terrain, climate, animals, reptiles, rivers, poisonous plants, contaminated water and much more! Wyatt recommends always keeping your dog on a leash. Regardless of how much dog training you’ve done, your dog is simply bred to chase, track and capture. While being off-leash provides the owner with a sense of freedom, it is in the best interest of your dogs health to keep them on a leash. I find my retractable dog leash maintains a perfect balance of freedom with control.

Does your dog follow dog training commands at home? If not, you need to start training now as the excessive stimuli in the outdoors will not translate from home. The commands you need to master are: Come, Stop, Leave It, Stay, Heel and Drop It. Aside from other commands, you need an emergency recall. An emergency recall should be a unique word, something that doesn’t come up in general conversation and won’t be confused with other commands. Wyatt is currently learning “Kowabunga”, which also deserves a special treat (hot dog) outside of the norm so he understands the impact of this command. Start using this command twice a day with little distraction, then gradually move outdoors with increased stimuli. Never use this command in non-emergent situations.

wyatt6

pawPAW TIP #2 : PLAN YOUR TRIP

The second paw tip is successful planning.  Know what is an appropriate hike for your dog based on their level of conditioning. You will need to assess the terrain, calculate your water needs and plan for food. How steep is the trail? Is the terrain rocky? What dangers exist (i.e. Rattlesnakes, Javelina, Ticks, Giardia, Bear, Cougars). What is the weather forecast? Dogs don’t have many sweat glands and perspire through their nose, tongue and pads. Be sure to look for signs of fatigue and heat exhaustion though excessive panting, slowing down, dry mouth, lack of urinary output during marking and head hanging. Wyatt recommends periodic breaks of 15 minutes that allow for appropriate hydration and energizing snacks!

Keep in mind many National and State Parks require all dogs to be on a leash. If your dog has a tendency to be aggressive, then Wyatt recommends only choosing areas that require a leash. A wandering off-leash dog that approaches your dog could become a stressful situation so be sure to also assess the trail traffic. Can your dog deal with trail traffic? What about mountain bikers? Horses? If your dog isn’t social and is easily spooked, you may want to look for a trail with less traffic.

wyatt4

paw

PAW TIP #3 : CONDITIONING

Is your dog physically fit? As with running, Wyatt recommends that you start short and slow. Then, gradually increase the length and difficulty of your hikes overtime. If you plan on training your dog to carry a pack, be sure that it is one that fits properly. Once your dog is accustomed to a particular hike, add an empty pack then later add a water bottle to each side for increased endurance. It’s important to distribute the weight appropriately while on your hike. Over time, increase the length, difficulty and loads as you both become more fit. Wyatts rule: no pack should exceed 10% of your dogs body weight!

wyatt1

paw

PAW TIP #4 : ON THE TRAIL

Once you hit the trail, be sure to have everything you need. No matter how long the hike, you need to bring plenty of food and water. Products like Gulpy, Kibble Carrier and Collapse A Bowl work great to keep your dog hydrated and energized. Stop frequently and be sure to observe your dog for signs of heat exhaustion and fatigue. Wyatt advises that you force him to avoid standing water in the outdoors as the water may be contaminated. Dogs can get infections and parasites just like us! While the literature on trail bells is debatable, my philosophy is that they can’t hurt. A bear has a very keen sense of smell and recognizes your presence from miles away, but it may alert other animals that otherwise may cause stress to you and your dog.

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paw

PAW TIP #5 : SAFETY

Hiking isn’t the most dangerous activity, but there are inherent risks. Stumbling upon other animals can become a dangerous situation. If your dog does get into a scuffle with another animal, remember to be extremely careful when interfering with a fighting dog. The best technique is to be at a distance either with a large branch, spraying water or other distant methods. Getting your hands into the scuffle will cause you to get bit, trust me! Afterwards, examine your dog closely for any open wounds and be sure to irrigate them out as best as you can. If the wound edges separate and subcutaneous tissue is visible, your dog will most likely require sutures. Dress the wound with topical antibiotic and seek medical attention. If the wounds are bleeding, you can tie it’s fur over the top of the wound margins to allow for coagulation. Lastly, your vet may recommend a rabies series if the other animal is unable to be observed or brain biopsy is unattainable.

While your dogs paw pads are fairly resilient, they do tear and can suffer puncture wounds (darn cactus!). Dog boots can prevent further injury, but many dogs don’t always seem to take to these products. Be sure to try several pairs as they are not all created equal, it may take some trials to find the right pair so be patient. Wyatt is a Greater Swiss Mountain Dog, so he does quite well without them.

Even though dogs have beautiful fur coats, they can still suffer from sunburn. You might notice that the skin starts to turn pinkish and the dog may wince when you touch him. Wrapping a wet white t-shirt around the dog or providing some pet-friendly sunscreen will help.

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pawPAW TIP #6 : WHAT TO PACK

  1. First Aid Kit : Benadryl, Bandages, Normal Saline, Multi-Tool, Musher’s Wax, Styptic Pencil, Tick Remover, Sun Screen and Vet Wrap.
  2. Food and Water
  3. Portable Dog Bowl
  4. Extra Leash
  5. LED Collar Light – can be seen from 1/2 mile away
  6. Dog Pack – no more than 10% of your dogs body weight
  7. Bear Bell
  8. Dog Collar with ID Tags
  9. Photos of your Dog – to hand to other hikers and authorities

 

Happy Phoenix dog training!

Mark Siebel – Owner of Doggie Steps Dog Training, Chandler, AZ

Was this dog training article helpful?  If so, PLEASE leave us comment.

2 Dog Training Tips To Prevent Boredom In Dogs

Do you have a dog that sleeps to much?  Learn the 2 best dog training activities you should do with your dog to prevent boredom and to increase their activity levels!

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Provided by:  Amber Kingsley  – Amber Kingsley is a journalist as well as a lifetime pet lover. When she’s not traveling the world, she’s usually spending time at home with her pets, and wants to help others make sure that their pets are as happy as they can be.

Preventing Boredom in Dogs

Dogs are pretty responsive creatures, and benefit from attention and action. As you’re dog training and taking care of your dog, it’s important to make sure you’re keeping your dog active.

Boredom does affect dogs and exhibits itself in a variety of ways. It may be as apparent as destructive behavior, such as tearing up shoes or furniture, getting into the trash, being uncooperative or generally flat-out disobeying dog training commands. Bored dogs may beg at the table, pace in anxiety or howl, sleep too much.

In any case, it may be that you’re not giving your dog the attention he needs in some area. When you don’t occupy your dog–or rather, occupy yourself with your dog–he or she will get somewhere between too passive and destructive.

 

Walks

Walking is essential for dogs to not become bored. A well-behaved trained dog is one that gets to go outside and learn about the world. A “less-trained” and less-occupied one will pace the house and not follow commands as well.

It’s essential that your dog smells outside air at least once a day. Not doing so can have short term effects like laziness or inattention.  If not taken care of it could also cause long-term effects exhibited in behavioral problems.

Walking serves as bonding time with your dog, making him more reliant on you and obedient to your will–you’re literally leading him around. More than that, being outside is vastly entertaining and stimulating for your dog, giving him input as well as calling for action.  Its also a great time for dog training!

 

Playtime

Playtime is another bonding experience, and also serves as basic enrichment for your dog’s quality of life. See what kinds of toys or games appeal to your canine, and try around different ones. Not all dogs fetch, but some like to play tug. Playtime is another way to give your dog a chance to get tired or calm.

There are many exercises and lifestyle changes you can make. Try to challenge your dog, and challenge yourself to work with him.

  • New Tricks: Who ever said an old dog can’t learn new tricks? Teaching pets to respond to tricks with repeated cues (and treats), is an excellent idea for boredom since it tests your dogs brain and Pavlovian sense of memory.
  • Socializing: Dogs like to meet other dogs. It brings them new information in the form of unfamiliar smells and dog-on-dog interaction. Dogs may try to play with other dogs, so if you don’t have more than one canine companion, be sure to allow them them to meet and play with new dogs. For example, you can take your dog to dog parks or train them for car rides so you can take them along with you on errands and visits other places.  For MORE dog/dog social tips see THIS.

Your dog may need special attention depending on what kind of breed or temper. For example, breeds like German Shepherds or Border Collies are very intelligent and job driven, while smaller dogs often have a lot of energy. In addition, dogs do have different personalities and drives.

Dogs don’t have the ability to walk themselves or find amusement for them. Just like they rely on you for everything, part of the care and keeping of your dog is making sure he isn’t bored.

 

Happy Phoenix dog training!

Mark Siebel – Owner of Doggie Steps Dog Training, Chandler, AZ

Was this dog training article helpful?  If so, PLEASE leave us comment.

5 Puppy Training Games You Should Play With Your Puppy

5 Puppy Training Games You Should Play with Your Puppy

Do you have a new puppy?  Learn the 5 puppy training games you should play with your puppy to reduce energy and chewing!
Provided by:  TAILS MAGAZINE

Wanna Play?They say a tired dog is a good dog, and at no time is this more true than when you’re dealing with a puppy––a little furball of energy who requires constant care and new puppy training attention or will likely be chewing up a shoe (or two) as soon as you turn around. So what’s a pet parent to do? These puppy games will not only tire your pup out, they’ll also stimulate his brain and force him to utilize his doggy senses.

1. Walking and Wagging

There’s nothing better than a casual stroll around town with your furry friend. For your puppy everything is new and undiscovered, so let him explore and take the time to sniff it out. This is a great time to start working on puppy training commands like sit and stay, and to encourage positive socialization with humans (puppies to tend to attract a lot of attention and smiles). Keep walks to five minutes per month of age (10-minute walk for a two-month-old puppy), and avoid running until the puppy is older and his joints are more mature

2. Hide-and-Seek 

Have a friend hold your puppy while you go hide. Call out and let him hunt you down and watch that tail go crazy when he does. Your new best friend is a fast learner, and you can up the ante by hiding toys or treats. As an added bonus, use the word “come” and the game doubles as a teaching tool.

3. Mind Games

Your puppy is a little sponge just waiting to soak up information on how to please you. Use this to your advantage and play some mind games, such as teaching him words to common items (like “ball,” “toy,” “chair,” etc.), or more creative tricks, like teaching him to bring you the newspaper or the remote. These new puppy training games are excellent building blocks for future training, and exercising your puppy’s mind is one of the easiest ways to get him to settle down.

4. The Muffin Tin Game

Take a standard 12-cup muffin tin and put treats in every cup (you may want to use something healthy as a treat, such as blueberries, since you’re putting out so many). Cover up three or more of the cups with tennis balls, and then sit back and watch as your pup is forced to figure out how to get all the treats out––hidden and otherwise. As he gets better at the game, start covering up more cups and making him work harder to get all the treats.

5. Freeze!

If you have kids this is a great game for them to play with your puppy, since it’ll tire them out as well! Get your puppy excited by dancing, running, and jumping around, and then stop what you’re doing and command him to freeze. It may take him a little while to catch on that he’s supposed to stop moving too, so make sure to reward him as soon as he does. Not only does this game help expel some of that extra puppy energy, it’s an excellent tool for other situations where your little guy may feel overwhelmed by the chaos around him.

Playing with your puppy encourages brain development, promotes bonding, and uses up some much-needed energy––it’s one of the best ways to ensure your furball turns into a well-behaved adult. Get out there and play, your pup will thank you for it!

 

Happy Phoenix dog training!

Mark Siebel – Owner of Doggie Steps Dog Training, Chandler, AZ

Was this dog training article helpful?  If so, PLEASE leave us comment.

 

How to Make Dog Training More Enjoyable

Dogs will train hard to please their masters, but you can always get the best results when you keep training positive and fun. Read on to learn how.

Posted by:  Guest Blogger – Jordan Walker 

Rebecca-Buddy-Max-Leinie

How to Make Dog Training More Enjoyable

Jordan Walker would love for pet owners to learn how to raise well-behaved pets. A passionate pet pal, he writes regularly for Coops And Cages and other blogs on all things pets. For this post, he shares the tricks on how to get dogs to respond well to and enjoy training.

Proper training is essential for a dog-centric home to make sure that everyone shares a long, happy, and safe relationship with the house dog. Training also allows you to keep your dog physically fit, mentally agile, social, and happy. While you do need to train your dog properly, you would want to get your dog’s best responses to the training. The best way to do that is through fun and reward.

Dogs just wanna have fun

For dog training to be effective, you need to understand how dogs learn. Dogs learn by association. What’s more, they are eager to please. They want to earn the affection of their humans, which motivates them to do the things that bring rewards. On the other hand, they feel bad when their humans are not pleased. These canine traits make dog training relatively easy. You can take advantage of them by associating desired behaviors with reward, which allows the dog to learn that doing these desired behaviors pleases you and earns him your affection, a treat (food or toy), or both. Knowing this, a dog will be more likely to repeat the behavior. Keep in mind though that for a dog to associate reward with good behavior, the reward must be provided immediately after the good behavior was demonstrated. Otherwise, the lesson is lost on the dog, or a different behavior is associated with the reward.

Use yummy or appealing treats

Treats are effective motivators that make training successful and exciting for a dog. However, treats should interest a dog. If your treats are interesting enough, they should make a dog drop everything else and participate in the training. Dogs particularly love it and respond well when you use delicious pieces of food to reward them for performing the training exercise. If you replace that dry cookie with something moist and tender, your dog will literally go out on a limb for you just to earn that succulent treat. Still, some dogs are not as motivated by food than others. These dogs may instead want affection like a hug and kind words, or a favorite toy. Get to know your dog to learn what motivators work best with it during training.

Train in a quiet area

Your backyard can be a good place to hold trainings with your dog. That is, until you are attempting to train there but your dog keeps running off to sniff in the flower beds or chase away birds. Then your backyard has too many distractions for your dog. When training, you might want to start indoors where you can control the environment. Choose a quiet area and take out any objects that might sidetrack your dog. Yet, if your dog still wanders off even after you have cleared out the area, consider leashing it during training, but make sure to keep him engaged.

Keep sessions short and sweet

To make training effective, you will need to sustain your dog’s interest, and let’s face it, dogs have short attention spans. That’s why you will have to keep your training sessions brief but engaging for your dog, say around 15 minutes. You should be able to pass on your intended lesson to your pet while allowing it to enjoy the activity to avoid inattention or boredom. The treats, toys, and praise you need to prepare for training will come in handy to keep your dog’s attention. Keeping sessions short but sweet will go a long way towards successful, enjoyable training.

Don’t inflict pain

However, do avoid giving physical corrections and expressing anger at your dog. First of all, physical or emotional punishment can hurt. Dogs do pick up on its human’s emotional states and can become affected by your feelings. Second of all, pain is unnecessary for a dog to learn its training lessons. To teach a dog what not to do, you simply provide negative reinforcement – that is, ignoring what you do not want your dog to learn. When your dog engages in an undesirable behavior, like jumping up on people, you simply withdraw your attention from it, no eye contact, not even a cluck of the tongue. Even a reprimand can be interpreted as reward for a behavior. Ignore your dog as long as it takes until the behavior stops. Only when your dog stops doing the behavior should you provide praise and/or a treat. Third of all, punishment and pain dampen the mood and take away the fun in learning. In fact, if it often receives physical corrections, a dog may begin to perceive training as a stressful situation or act out by “fooling around” as a way to avoid going into training.

Keep things lighthearted

If you think about it, a dog looks at training time really as playtime. Since dogs respond well to affection, treats, and fun, keeping training a positive session sets up a dog to learn what is expected of it more easily. If a dog learns that training is a time for having fun, it will look forward to each session. Also, dogs can sense their master’s moods. For that reason, keep up a lighthearted, playful tone on each of your training sessions. If you are tense or angry, it is best to skip training for the day or until you feel calmer. Training should be a fun experience for both you and your dog.

A dog is more likely to retain the positive behaviors you want it to learn by keeping it engaged and in a constant state of learning. Still, remain open about consulting or employing the services of a professional. A behaviorist or trainer may be able to provide useful insight or a more effective training program to bring out the best results towards raising a well-behaved, obedient, and disciplined dog.

 

Happy Phoenix dog training!

Mark Siebel – Owner of Doggie Steps Dog Training, Chandler, AZ

Was this dog training article helpful?  If so, PLEASE leave us comment.

How to Make Dog Training More Enjoyable

Dogs will train hard to please their masters, but you can always get the best results when you keep training positive and fun. Read on to learn how.

Posted by:  Guest Blogger – Jordan Walker 

Rebecca-Buddy-Max-Leinie

How to Make Dog Training More Enjoyable

Jordan Walker would love for pet owners to learn how to raise well-behaved pets. A passionate pet pal, he writes regularly for Coops And Cages and other blogs on all things pets. For this post, he shares the tricks on how to get dogs to respond well to and enjoy training.

Proper training is essential for a dog-centric home to make sure that everyone shares a long, happy, and safe relationship with the house dog. Training also allows you to keep your dog physically fit, mentally agile, social, and happy. While you do need to train your dog properly, you would want to get your dog’s best responses to the training. The best way to do that is through fun and reward.

Dogs just wanna have fun

For dog training to be effective, you need to understand how dogs learn. Dogs learn by association. What’s more, they are eager to please. They want to earn the affection of their humans, which motivates them to do the things that bring rewards. On the other hand, they feel bad when their humans are not pleased. These canine traits make dog training relatively easy. You can take advantage of them by associating desired behaviors with reward, which allows the dog to learn that doing these desired behaviors pleases you and earns him your affection, a treat (food or toy), or both. Knowing this, a dog will be more likely to repeat the behavior. Keep in mind though that for a dog to associate reward with good behavior, the reward must be provided immediately after the good behavior was demonstrated. Otherwise, the lesson is lost on the dog, or a different behavior is associated with the reward.

Use yummy or appealing treats

Treats are effective motivators that make training successful and exciting for a dog. However, treats should interest a dog. If your treats are interesting enough, they should make a dog drop everything else and participate in the training. Dogs particularly love it and respond well when you use delicious pieces of food to reward them for performing the training exercise. If you replace that dry cookie with something moist and tender, your dog will literally go out on a limb for you just to earn that succulent treat. Still, some dogs are not as motivated by food than others. These dogs may instead want affection like a hug and kind words, or a favorite toy. Get to know your dog to learn what motivators work best with it during training.

Train in a quiet area

Your backyard can be a good place to hold trainings with your dog. That is, until you are attempting to train there but your dog keeps running off to sniff in the flower beds or chase away birds. Then your backyard has too many distractions for your dog. When training, you might want to start indoors where you can control the environment. Choose a quiet area and take out any objects that might sidetrack your dog. Yet, if your dog still wanders off even after you have cleared out the area, consider leashing it during training, but make sure to keep him engaged.

Keep sessions short and sweet

To make training effective, you will need to sustain your dog’s interest, and let’s face it, dogs have short attention spans. That’s why you will have to keep your training sessions brief but engaging for your dog, say around 15 minutes. You should be able to pass on your intended lesson to your pet while allowing it to enjoy the activity to avoid inattention or boredom. The treats, toys, and praise you need to prepare for training will come in handy to keep your dog’s attention. Keeping sessions short but sweet will go a long way towards successful, enjoyable training.

Don’t inflict pain

However, do avoid giving physical corrections and expressing anger at your dog. First of all, physical or emotional punishment can hurt. Dogs do pick up on its human’s emotional states and can become affected by your feelings. Second of all, pain is unnecessary for a dog to learn its training lessons. To teach a dog what not to do, you simply provide negative reinforcement – that is, ignoring what you do not want your dog to learn. When your dog engages in an undesirable behavior, like jumping up on people, you simply withdraw your attention from it, no eye contact, not even a cluck of the tongue. Even a reprimand can be interpreted as reward for a behavior. Ignore your dog as long as it takes until the behavior stops. Only when your dog stops doing the behavior should you provide praise and/or a treat. Third of all, punishment and pain dampen the mood and take away the fun in learning. In fact, if it often receives physical corrections, a dog may begin to perceive training as a stressful situation or act out by “fooling around” as a way to avoid going into training.

Keep things lighthearted

If you think about it, a dog looks at training time really as playtime. Since dogs respond well to affection, treats, and fun, keeping training a positive session sets up a dog to learn what is expected of it more easily. If a dog learns that training is a time for having fun, it will look forward to each session. Also, dogs can sense their master’s moods. For that reason, keep up a lighthearted, playful tone on each of your training sessions. If you are tense or angry, it is best to skip training for the day or until you feel calmer. Training should be a fun experience for both you and your dog.

A dog is more likely to retain the positive behaviors you want it to learn by keeping it engaged and in a constant state of learning. Still, remain open about consulting or employing the services of a professional. A behaviorist or trainer may be able to provide useful insight or a more effective training program to bring out the best results towards raising a well-behaved, obedient, and disciplined dog.

 

Happy Phoenix dog training!

Mark Siebel – Owner of Doggie Steps Dog Training, Chandler, AZ

Was this dog training article helpful?  If so, PLEASE leave us comment.

How Long Does It Take To Train A Dog?

Learn the 3 most efficient ways to train a dog in the shortest amount of time.

Posted by:  Mark Siebel – Owner of Doggie Steps Dog Training, Chandler, AZ

Phoenix dog training

Phoenix dog training

I often compare dog training to physical and professional development.  My customers will ask me, “How long does it take to train a dog?”  My reply, “Dog training is like weight loss, it WON’T happen overnight!  Some training results will come quicker than others, but dog training is a marathon, NOT a sprint.”

Now, some customers may not like this answer, and so be it.  By being consistent and patient with the dog training techniques I provide, you WILL see long term development with your furry friend.

  1. Consistency.  Poor judgement is often attributed to small bad decisions over a long period of time.  Thus, small bad choices today, will often result in future long term problems.  I know, NO ONE is perfect!  So don’t sweat the small stuff, but, by being consistent with your dog MORE times than not, you will see overall improved obedience/energy results sooner than later.
  1. Practice.  Did Michael Jordan and Tiger Woods become the BEST in their sports by luck?  NO!  They sacrificed daily to achieve their legendary sporting skills.  Each day, they practiced their mental and physical sporting routines to achieve their best possible results.  Even the best athletes need daily practice to stay on top of their game.  This applies to daily dog training as well!
  1. Dedication.  If I’ve said it once, I’ll say it again, “If you’re NOT ready for the daily commitment of a dog, get a cat!”  Dogs require daily attention, similar to a human being.  Today in Chandler, AZ, at my morning dog training Group class, it was only 33 deg.!!  In AZ this is COLD!!  Guess how many of my dog training customers called in to cancel the class?  ZERO.  End of story.  These customers are loyal and dedicated to providing their dogs with consistent dog training no matter what the weather is!

So, if you think good health and physical/mental physique comes in a pill?  Or quick fix?  Think AGAIN!!  Only with consistency, practice, and dedication will BOTH you and your dog achieve the ultimate dog training results that you seek.

 

Happy Phoenix dog training!

Mark Siebel – Owner of Doggie Steps Dog Training, Chandler, AZ

Was this dog training article helpful?  If so, PLEASE leave us comment.

5 American Dog Breeds And What They Were Bred For

Learn about the 5 most commonly bred American dog breeds and what they were bred for.

Posted by:  Mark Siebel – Owner of Doggie Steps Dog Training, Chandler, AZ

chandler dog trainer

dog breeds

We have fallen in love with the shepherds of Germany, the setters of Ireland, and the Labrador retrievers of Canada. But which lovable dog breeds originated in the United States?

Here are 5 types of pooches that were made in the USA, and their specialties:

Australian Shepherd

A trickster, this one! Despite its name, the Australian Shepherd breed actually originated in the western United States. Originally bred to herd livestock, Australian Shepherds remain faithful working dogs today, and are happiest when there is a task with their name on it. If you don’t have a flock of sheep baa-ing around your backyard, it’s quite alright; these dogs excel at and enjoy many other activities, such as retrieving, guarding, dog agility, competitive obedience and performing tricks.  For MORE info. on dog agility read THIS.

American Water Spaniel

Though a rare breed outside of the Great Lakes region, with only about 3,000 total in existence, the American Water spaniel is Wisconsin’s official state dog. Bred for bird flushing and retrieving (particularly from small boats), American water spaniels are intelligent, eager to please, and, as their name suggests, huge water lovers.  For MORE info. on dog water safety read THIS.

Black-and-Tan Coonhound

Black-and-tan coonhounds were bred to be working, hunting dogs. A breed that dates back to the 1700s, the courageous coonhound is proficient at hunting big game, like deer and elk, but their primary function is trailing raccoon. This passionate and dedicated worker dog can withstand difficult terrain and tolerate the rigors of winter as well as the intense summers, making it a great asset to hunters. But, let’s be honest, as even-tempered, friendly and adorable breeds, anyone who has a coonhound will tell you they make exemplary house pets—as long as they get their exercise!

Maryland Chesapeake Bay Retriever

As with the coonhound, Maryland Chesapeake Bay retrievers are also working dogs. Declared Maryland’s state dog in 1964, they were bred to help hunters recover waterfowl in the choppy, icy waters of the Chesapeake Bay—capable of retrieving up to 200 ducks per day! Ice breaking, wind endurance and long swims in freezing waters are all part of the job for this powerful breed. It’s their double coats that protect them from the winter elements, and their brownish, grassy coloring that allows them to easily camouflage in hunting environments. Owners of this breed would do right by the dog (not to mention have fun themselves) taking their pet on a real hunting trip to hone its skills and stimulate its natural abilities. But don’t forget to get your hunting license first!

Boston Terrier

“Work, schmerk,” says the Boston Terrier. These non-sporting dogs (one of the first breeds to be named as such in the U.S.) are born to look good. Dapper and charming in its tuxedo markings, the Boston Terrier is nicknamed the “American Gentleman” for a reason. Intelligent and affectionate today, you’d never know that originally, in the late 1800s, Boston Terriers were actually bred for pit fighting. But people—er, dogs—really can change. Long ago swapping dog aggression for sophistication, Boston Terriers today are gentle, loving companions. And with their signature black-tie-affair look, they’ll always win best dressed wherever you go.

 

Happy Phoenix dog training!

Mark Siebel – Owner of Doggie Steps Dog Training, Chandler, AZ

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Holiday Dog Training Safety Tips

Learn how to keep your dog safe this Holiday season with some easy dog training safety tips.

Posted by:  Mark Siebel – Owner of Doggie Steps Dog Training, Chandler, AZ

phoenix dog training

Mark & Santa

‘Tis the season to be jolly!  Another Holiday season has arrived.  The Holidays often bring new people, irresistible foods, and other temptations into our homes, and we need to be aware of the safety of our pets.  Dogs are curious by nature and their heightened sense of smell can many times get them into trouble.  Do I still have to think about dog training over the Holidays?  YES!!  Read on.

There are numerous items around our homes during the Holiday Season from which we must be sure our dogs steer clear.  Every dog will have a different threshold level (based on breed, age, and weight), but it is best to try to eliminate ANY of the below items from our dogs reach to ensure strong health and safety:

  1. Plants & Trees. Poinsettias, Christmas cactus, hemlock, holly, ivy, mistletoe, balsam, cedar, juniper, fir, pine, avocado, geranium, marijuana, ferns, aloe, and tiger lilies can ALL cause irritation, vomiting, diarrhea, nausea, and even death if ingested.  Try to spray the leaves or plants with Bitter Apple, or simply position the items out of the dogs reach.  For a festive tree, use the “LEAVE IT” command if you notice your dog chewing or smelling the branches.  Sap and needles can be hard for a dog to digest, and will most certainly be a cause for illness.  Consumption of ANY listed items in this article should be dealt with on a dog-to-dog basis.  Symptoms of serious illness include:  excessive diarrhea, not drinking water, and excessive vomiting.  If this happens, contact your vet immediately.  A good dog training command to STOP your dog from eating the above is the LEAVE IT command.
  1. Food/snack items. Many foods must be OFF limits to your dog. Be aware of the following items when cooking or if you take your dog to a friends home or public place:  *Chocolate (can cause Theobromine poisoning in your dog)  *Onions, grapes, raisins (studies have shown the skins of these foods to be indigestible by dogs.)  Even chewing gum has been shown to cause irritation to a dogs internal digestive systems.
  1. Miscellaneous items. The following are a variety of items that can be found around your home  that can be toxic to your dog’s health:  Antifreeze, bleach, Tylenol, ibuprofen, watch batteries, moth balls, fabric softeners and other detergents, mouthwash, alcohol, and peach/avocado pits or other fruit seeds.  It is okay to vary a dog’s diet, but do it with quality meat kibble and fresh cooked, unseasoned meats only!  This will keep your dog interested in its own food and more eager to eat it.  DO NOT give scraps from the dinner table or your dog may begin to beg from you.
  1. Good, common sense. Dogs are carnivores, so their diet consists primarily of meat.  It should go without saying; don’t feed your dog Doritos or Mac Donald’s!  It’s okay to give your dog an occasional lick of your ice cream cone or a small piece of cheese, but use good ole’ fashion common sense when deciding what your dog should eat.  Also, given the sensitivity of most dogs digestive systems, a routine diet should be maintained.

So, when you hear the Holiday dinner bell ringing, enjoy your feast o’ plenty.  Holidays bring out the best energy in humans, therefore making our dogs that much more comfortable and excited.  Pass me another double baked potato!  Just be sure that Fido is eating his dog food, and not your Angel Food Cake.

 

Happy Phoenix dog training!

Mark Siebel – Owner of Doggie Steps Dog Training, Chandler, AZ

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3 Ways To Exercise Your Dog

3 Ways To Exercise Your Dog.  Stairs, Treadmill, and Obstacle Courses.

Posted by:  Mark Siebel – Owner of Doggie Steps Dog Training, Chandler, AZ

Article written by:  Guest blogger:  Angela Sawyer

chandler dog trainer

Mark & Calvin

Young or old, big or small, it is crucial that dogs get regular exercise. Without daily dog training physical activity, your pooch may become frustrated, bored and unhealthy. Even the simplest regular exercise like walking up and down dog steps will prevent them from being hyperactive before bedtime, minimize unwanted behavior, boost their immune system, and keep them away from obesity. Further to that, dog exercise is also important to your dog’s mental health as it engages their mind, minimizes anxiety issues and provides them with healthy brain stimulations.

Although exercise requirements are typically based on the age, size, breed and overall health of your dog, it is best to spend 30 minutes to two hours exercising them each day. It’s best to select activities that suit your dog’s natural interests and unique personality. Try out some of the following ideas to see what’s most enjoyable and practical for your dog.

 

  1. Take Them to the Stairs

An excellent way to work out your dog is by using the stairs in your home. The steps target an array of different muscles that aren’t typically engaged on a regular run or walk. It also incorporates an extra level of difficulty for maximum results.

Simply stand at the top of the stairs and toss a toy down to your dog. When they grab the toy, call their name and encourage them to bring it up. After several rounds of “extreme fetch” they will be their muscles and joints will be well exercised; your dog will be winded and ready for a good nap.

 

  1. Put Your Dog on the Treadmill

One of the best ways to provide your dog with their daily dose of dog exercise is using a treadmill. Start off by choosing a good treading program. Before placing them on the machine, it is essential that you allow them to get used to the sound and sight of the running treadmill. Next, gently allow them onto the treadmill and provide a treat as a reward.

Set the treadmill on the lowest speed and continue giving them treats to help keep them on the machine. You can use a leash to help guide your pooch, but never tie them to the treadmill! Once they become adjusted, you can gradually decrease the amount of treats that you are giving them and begin to increase the speed to provide a more challenging and effective workout. For the most optimal results, dog owners must familiarize themselves with all the necessary data in regard to using treadmills with canines.  For MORE on dog training on treadmills see THIS.

 

  1. Do-It-Yourself Doggy Obstacle Courses

In addition to the above, there are some other choices to provide variety for your pooch. It’s very likely that you’ll have plenty of items around your home that can be used to create an obstacle course for your dog. For example, use an old hula-hoop for them to leap through or create a navigation tunnel with couch cushions. Also, try leading your dog through the various obstacles while giving commands. That type of exercise will provide both physical and mental health benefits.  For MORE on dog agility see THIS.

 

Tips for Beginning an Exercise Program

Before beginning an exercise program with your dog, you should always visit your veterinarian for a basic exam to make sure they are healthy enough for a regular exercise regime. Start out slowly and proceed to work your way up to longer playing or treadmill walking routines as they seem appropriate. Remember that a cool-down period should follow each session. Very easy treading walk, or leisurely stroll around the block or to the park should be enough to relax their muscles after a serious game of fetch or a more intense round on the dog treadmill.

 

Happy Phoenix dog training!

Mark Siebel – Owner of Doggie Steps Dog Training, Chandler, AZ

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